Eric Holder's Contract With CA Dems is Set to Expire - What's Next?

FILE -- In this Feb. 7, 2017 file photo, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, center, flanked by California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, left, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, talks to reporters before meeting with Calif., Gov. Jerry Brown, in Sacramento, Calif. California's Democratic Legislative leaders announced Tuesday, May 9, 2017, that they have extended their contract with Holders law firm, Covington & Burling, through the end of May. Holder was hired in February to represent the state Legislature in legal issues against President Trump and his administration. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)

Back in January, California Democrats were having a stompy-foot temper tantrum about all things Trump and decided they were going to bring on the big guns to prepare to fight Trump’s policies. Though the state has an Attorney General and an enormous Department of Justice full of supposedly capable legal minds, they looked at former Attorney General Eric Holder (who has a terrible record before the Supreme Court) and thought, “That’s him! That’s who I want advising me!”


The contract was with Holder’s firm, Covington & Burling, for $25,000 a month plus expenses, for unspecified “consulting.” It first expired in May, but was renewed a month. Now, the Assembly is not renewing the contract, though Speaker Anthony Rendon said Holder had provided “valuable guidance.”

What’s happening in the California Senate isn’t so clear. Senate President Kevin de Leon’s Chief of Staff, Dan Reeves, said:

“[T]he firm’s “advice and guidance has been very valuable to the Senate in responding to the Trump administration’s sustained attack on California’s polices and values,” and added,

“We currently have a number of ongoing projects with Covington and plan to continue that valuable relationship,” Reeves continued.

According to the LA Times, they have not disclosed how any ongoing work would be paid for. The former contract was paid for by both the Senate and Assembly, and nothing has been brought forward in budget negotiations, which are currently in full swing in Sacramento.


Republicans in Sacramento criticized the contract initially, because Holder’s work would be to further the policy goals of Democrats, not of the state as a whole. As the spring progressed, Republican staffers and office holders complained that they were not allowed to view any documents coming from Holder’s office or speak to his staff about what issues they were working on.


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